A silent killer of computerized transmissions or gearboxes is drinking water or coolant mixing with automatic transmission fluid (ATF). This dilemma made use of to be noticed in more mature autos with neglected motor cooling programs, but is getting common in later on product cars and trucks that have adopted their maintenance schedules. The end result is generally the exact: the transmission need to be completely overhauled or replaced.
Can the Contaminated Fluid be Cleaned Out Before Injury Occurs?
Just about each individual computerized transmission on the road now employs cellulose based paper lined plates known as clutches or frictions. These clutches act like brakes for shifting and stopping diverse components inside of the gearbox. When the shifter is placed into generate or reverse, it really is the frictions that are being utilized.
The paper that traces the clutch plates is a incredibly fragile content that is glued to a metal spine. Prior to the paper is glued to the plate, it has the strength and consistency of a graham cracker. As soon as the substance is bonded, it gets to be a lot stronger and can past a very prolonged time below typical operating disorders.
The clutch materials is Hygroscopic. This signifies when the clutches are exposed to moisture, the paper content will displace ATF for water. That humidity reaches the metal plates leading to rust, and breaks down the glue that bonds the paper to the plate. A research carried out by International Lubricants Inc about the consequences of h2o exposed to automated transmission clutches states, “The tests indicated that drinking water added at degrees as minimal as 600 mg/kg migrated to the surface of untreated paper frictionals and contributed to decline of the paper coating and erratic torque transfer attributes.” In laymen’s phrases, that usually means fewer than a tablespoon of water or motor coolant in a transmission can result in a failure.
How Did Drinking water Get There?
There are 3 ways h2o can enter a transmission:
- By way of the engine’s radiator. From the 1950’s to now, most computerized gearboxes are cooled with the same water centered system that retains the motor from overheating. You can find a separate tank in the radiator for transmission fluid that lets the coolant to consider heat away from the ATF without having mixing the two liquids. When a leak takes place between the ATF and engine coolant tanks in the radiator, the fluids will combine with every other. It was much more frequent in older vehicles that had eroded cooling devices thanks to neglect, but some of modern newer cars are utilizing materials that are failing because of tension complications in the cooling system.
- Publicity to deep drinking water. Driving by means of substantial puddles for the duration of rain storms or off highway driving can expose the transmission’s respiratory system to moisture. The best opportunity of stopping a failure is to examine for water in the ATF after a vehicle has been in this variety of circumstance.
- Moisture entering through the dipstick. Most vehicles have a dipstick wherever ATF is checked and included. Moisture can simply enter the transmission if the dipstick was sprayed with drinking water in the course of an motor cleaning, or in some scenarios, water draining from rain or a carwash drips on to the dipstick. GM and Chrysler have bulletins pertaining to this difficulty on some types of their automobiles. Qualified retailers will have access to check for these styles of bulletins. A tell tale indication of this trouble is dampness or rust about the dipstick tube.
Switch or Rebuild?
It is dependent on how significantly h2o mixed with the transmission fluid, how very long the motor vehicle was driven with the contaminated ATF, and the kind of gearbox your car or truck has. Metallic and digital sections inside of the transmission will promptly corrode when exposed to humidity. If there is also substantially damage inside of the gearbox, the price tag of the areas to rebuild the trans will exceed the cost of changing the device with a remanufactured merchandise. Some brands like Nissan and Chevy have computer systems inside of the gearbox that will fail when exposed to humidity. These computers or mechtronics value as significantly as $2,000 and that does not consist of rebuilding the rest of the device. When components price that much, it can be normally a greater choice to change the gearbox solely.
To sum matters up, if drinking water gets in a transmission, you can find no way to get about an costly repair service. Flushing the fluid out will only price you extra dollars and can make the inescapable failure materialize quicker. Assistance the engine’s cooling system regularly and inquire a professional transmission mechanic if your vehicle is prevalent for this type of failure. If it is, bypass the radiator with an exterior oil cooler.